from where you are now to where you want to be.
What if you simply knew what to put on your resume
to get hired, how much easier would that make life?
After sifting through more than 7,000,000 (yes, seven
million +) We know what grabs us – here’s what it is.
The 1 in 1,000,000 Resume
The best marketing is timeless. It works today, it worked a thousand years ago, and it will world a thousand years from now. You can get a PhD in this subject, but we’re going to touch on three (3) little pieces of understanding that can get you massive benefit, quickly.
Which fish catches your eye?
The human brain finds it hard to read and write (why you get tired reading), yet sees and understands contrasts quickly. Differences grab our attention while reading too much bores us. Leverage both.
That’s all you’re looking for at first; in marketing we call it a lean.
If the lean proves to be stupid, a hoax or makes me feel like I wasted my time (think today’s online sensational headlines that you click and then wish you had never seen), you’re lost. But if it’s clever or valuable to the reader, then they’ll want a little more. Now on track.
Our brains are overworked, over-stimulated, and jaded. When we see things that surprise us we pay attention, especially to things that are simple and clever. What if the above were a cover letter, but you added some words, like this:
…If you could stand out in a better way, what might that mean for your business? I can help.
Then, in your interview you want to see their jaw drop? If so, say something like, “You noticed me, didn’t you? And here I am. Isn’t that what you want you want too–your marketing to get noticed so you then have the opportunity to get the business? That’s what I can do for you.”
Employers want resourceful thinkers. You just did demonstrate what they’ve been praying for. No one else will answer that prayer like you just did. It’s 100% impressive.
We like things that benefit us. Features are ok, advantages to those features are a bit better, but we love the benefit to us. If you’ve ever been in or studied sales and marketing, you may have heard of features, advantages, and benefits. Those three are a big deal.
If not, here’s a quick primer:
Features: These are very tangible, like colors and shapes. Or where you went to school or where you’ve worked or what you’ve done (for example, expanded profit).
Advantages: Like…”Because it’s green it will match your eyes.” Or “Because I got a 4.0, I can bring smarts to your company.” “Because I have a BA in Marketing, I can bring marketing to your firm. (In other words, “I expanded profit previously, and can do the same for you.’)
Benefits: Like…”Because the green matches your eyes people will think you’re beautiful, treat you better, and you’ll be happier.” Or “Because I took a marketing course from REWIRE, I see what others don’t and can bring that you your firm, increase response rates, sales, and the bottom line. You can finally win more, work less, and enjoy life more. (The message: “I expanded profit, I can do the same for you, and the benefit is that you can move on to what’s next!”)
So, what is your resume selling–features, advantages or benefits?
You may have just realized that some of the resume advice you’ve received from very well-intended people is perfectly suited to get you nowhere. In fact…
Your resume isn’t about you at all! It’s really all about the benefit you bring to the employer.
WTF… Why hasn’t someone told me about this before?!
I’m not sure. Maybe it’s hard to get your head around. Maybe it used to be taught and it got lost along the way. Maybe in this it’s-all-about-me world, we think we don’t have to try that hard. OK, fine, maybe some people don’t. But maybe leave that not-trying-hard to the rest of the world while we take it upon ourselves to find something a bit deeper and more meaningful so we can get noticed – and appreciated – and get the life and career that makes life awesome.
So let me repeat: Your resume is not about you, it’s about the benefit you can provide.
That’s what you’re demonstrating in your resume! That will get their attention. Now maximize it!
Make HR’s job easier and they’ll love you from the start. Remember, I’m busy and bogged down in HR, help me do my job quicker and easier. Everybody looks 20%+/- the same. You can help me out here! Please!
This section is a whole variety of items that just make resumes easier for the relatively human HR person to love you and your resume.
Push the relevant benefit to the top where I can see it quickly; save me time, it’s important to me. Rather than tell me what you’ve done in an order I may or may not understand, lay it out so I don’t have to work for it. Phrase all this stuff in a way that’s a benefit to me.
Do not risk me not understanding how your education or experience or personality or likes or dislikes or hobbies or volunteer experience helps me (the employer) achieve my goals.
Color outside, but not so far it scares us. You want to get a lean-in, not a shudder. If you’re too outlandish, the HR person may see you as possibly bat-shit-crazy and a risk. Color outside the lines showing your cleverness and control.
So many of us think that we have to change the way we write, speak, and otherwise communicate in busines. It’s like there’s this business-speak language that’s not comfortable at all. Please don’t strive for that. Please be you. Talk like you’re talking with a friend, and write that way too.
One of the best resumes I’ve ever seen started with “I love marketing…” That candidate went to the top of the heap. Our interview centered around that one sentence. I hired him.
If you just create a single resume and churn it out to the world and expect your phone to ring–well, it just doesn’t work that way. And really.. do you think you’re going to find your dream job in such an un-aware sort of process. If you really want to invest your life doing what you enjoy, you’ll need to go about it more strategically.
As in advertising, if you have just one offer, you run the risk of completely missing the target. And if you know your target’s motivation, then bring that part of your resume to the top so we can see it! Like this:
If your background is varied and you don’t care which of the three types of marketing jobs you get, then make three (3) versions of your resume, each featuring (see all of the above) one particular aspect of that profession. If you’re in marketing and I’m hiring for a PR-slanted marketing position, then you have a better chance with me if you feature PR to me. Feature analysis to the person looking for marketing analysis and feature web design to the person looking for web design. If you just say “marketing” and I have to search for relevance, you’re making me work too hard. Make it easy for me to say yes to you.
And if you went to a school where the alumni love to hire people from the same school, put your education credential at the top every time. So if you graduated from SMU and you’re sending your resume to an SMU alumni for a marketing position, I’d put SMU at the top, then relative marketing next, and so on.
It’s the same way we think about marketing; we know we have competition (a lot of it) and we simply want to set ourselves apart from the competition in a way that gets our target to lean our way. Usually that’s something simple, clean, and clever. As I’ve said, it’s easy to look like everyone else, and doing that gets you nowhere. Simple, clean and clever is harder, much harder, but it’s what gets you noticed. It’s how you beat those with more experience, with higher GPA’s, who come from better schools. And if you are one of those with more experience and a high GPA from a better school, this is how you don’t get missed.
Let’s say you just graduated college with a degree in business, but rather than getting business experience in the summer, you took summer classes and did mowing and landscaping for the school district. Clearly you have no business experience and there’s really no good reason to hire you, right? Wait one second. Let’s get a little more resourceful here… There may be more to the story that you need to pull out. For example, what if you invested your own money trading currencies and deciding how to trade based on your expectations of the market’s psychological reaction to political events…and you won, you made money, your parents even placed a stack of cash with you to invest and you won for them too! I’d think, “Holy schneike, I need this kid, he’s the kind of freakin’ genius that doesn’t tumble out of school every day!”
When you put this type of thinking and intent into your resume, it will fire off a chain reaction of other things, like your being more clear about where you end up and therefore what kind of life you lead. This may also mean that you avoid the ineffective resume mills and market your benefits in a more intentional and meaningful way, too. We recommend tapping your network for a much faster uptake into a better career. You’ll get much farter much faster.
Please feel free to ask any employer in the world about the above. You should question everything, including me. Take a movement and re-craft your resume from a few different perspectives. When you customize your resume and look at it from another point of view, what do you see? How do you think your resume comes across? Get the views of people who can help, particularly if they’re employers. Ask them which resume connects with them, then use the winner. That’s basic A/B market testing, used by the best marketers in the world.
Do we recommend putting red fish on your cover letter..? Heck yes, if it’s appropriate, absolutely not if it’s not. But a clever surprise is a welcome relief, and if I employ you, it might mean a better life for me have someone like that around (big benefit). You decide how you want to play it. But test things and you’ll find what works.
Expect a better employer
The red fish resume is bait for a better employer; this method may just connect you with a company that thinks differently, a cool company, a company that you love as much as they love you. I understand that some of us are just wanting a job, the first job, any job, but what you may find using this technique is that you (one who colors outside the lines) connect with an employer who appreciates the same. Those employers are more interesting, and you may just find that working with a company that values interesting is simply better.
If you love the red fish, all I want from you is a fat smile in a pic. Send it with comments about your new ideas, thinking, and direction.
We’ll post it. You can tell all your friends and be world famous.
After you get a really cool job, send more! Let’s keep in touch.
Now go get it!
Getting a Raise
You might think getting a raise is all about some secret tactic you use in “negotiations” with your boss. It’s not. Earning more money is a thinking person’s sport.
It take’s a bit of strategy for you to both get the raise and have your employer be happy to pay it. Getting a little peek behind the curtain will help you have the ammunition you need to get the income you want.